Making a Difference Grants Making a Difference Request for Proposals - Fall 2024


The Greenwall Foundation is requesting proposals for the Fall 2024 cycle of its bioethics grants program, Making a Difference in Real-World Bioethics Dilemmas. The Making a Difference program supports research to help resolve important emerging or unanswered bioethics problems in clinical, biomedical, or public health decision-making, policy, or practice.

The Foundation’s vision is to make bioethics integral to decisions in health care, policy, and research. Our mission is to expand bioethics knowledge to improve clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice. Projects funded under the Making a Difference program should promote the Foundation’s vision and mission through innovative bioethics research that will have a real-world, practical impact.

In addition, the Foundation is committed to building a broad and inclusive bioethics that welcomes everyone, elevates many perspectives, asks a wide range of questions, and learns from diverse voices. For more information on how the Foundation incorporates these values into our grantmaking, read more here.

Letters of intent are due June 17, 2024 by 11:59 pm ET, for projects to begin on or after January 1, 2025, not later than April 1, 2025.    

Priority Topics

While we welcome all innovative proposals that will have a real-world impact, we are particularly interested in proposals that address the ethical and policy issues raised by the following priority topics:

  • Trust in science, medicine, and public health;
  • Bias and discrimination in health care, which may be based on a broad range of characteristics;
  • Public health crises (related to, for example, emerging infectious diseases, climate change, and the opioid epidemic), including their impact on mental health;
  • Healthcare access, costs, and resource allocation.

Proposals for projects that address other real-world, practical bioethics problems are also welcome. 

Guidance for Proposals

Projects may be empirical, conceptual, or normative. All proposals should explain how they will help address a real-world bioethics dilemma. Projects to analyze the normative implications of already-completed empirical research are encouraged. The Foundation will support mentored projects in which a postdoctoral fellow or early-career faculty member works closely with an experienced bioethics scholar. The Foundation will also consider pilot or feasibility projects to evaluate an innovative intervention to resolve a bioethics dilemma, with the goal of obtaining funding from other sources for a larger evaluation or demonstration project. Some highly promising projects may be funded for an initial phase, with additional funding contingent on achieving clear milestones. 

The research team must have relevant and appropriate expertise to carry out the proposed project. Successful teams commonly involve a bioethics scholar and persons with on-the-ground experience with the bioethics dilemma, for example, in clinical care; biomedical research; biotechnology, pharmaceutical, big data, or artificial intelligence companies; or public service. Such collaboration can specify the bioethics problems that clinicians, researchers, policymakers, public health officials, and others face in their daily work, and facilitate practical resolutions to these problems. Applicants are also encouraged to engage with relevant lay or community stakeholders throughout their project.

We expect grantees to disseminate their research through practical articles in peer-reviewed journals that reach the appropriate audience for the topic studied, presentations in relevant professional meetings, and in other ways that will increase real-world impact. Applicants should clearly describe, for example, how they will disseminate their results beyond academic audiences, such as to lay and community groups or to leaders of institutions who could implement the project’s recommendations or act upon empirical findings (e.g., leaders of clinical services, research programs, institutional review boards, or medical education).

We encourage applications that align with the Foundation’s strategic priorities: (1) shaping and supporting a broad, inclusive bioethics and (2) increasing bioethics’ impact on policymaking. Applicants should think critically about how their project would move the field of bioethics forward in these areas. When applicable, include details in your submitted materials to highlight the relevance of the Foundation’s strategic priorities to your proposal.

In evaluating proposals, the Foundation will consider: 

  • The ways in which the project promotes the Foundation’s vision and mission and supports the Foundation’s strategic priorities. Importantly, projects that aim to impact public policy must not constitute advocacy projects with predetermined conclusions.
  • The project’s approach, including its innovative nature, and how it relates to (and builds on) current scholarship.
  • The appropriateness and rigor of the methods, analysis plan, and strategy.
  • The likelihood that the project will impact policy or practice.
  • The appropriateness and inclusiveness of the project’s planned approach to dissemination and implementation, including to stakeholder audiences beyond academia and key individuals who can change practice or policy.
  • The professional backgrounds of the research team, including the team’s expertise in relevant disciplines and their familiarity and experience with the bioethics problems to be addressed, and their success in carrying out similar projects. Early-career investigators are advised to apply with a mentor who actively collaborates in all phases of the project.
  • The success of the research team in publishing practical bioethics articles and disseminating the results of their research to relevant stakeholders outside of academia.
  • The reasonableness of the budget and project timeline. Projects with smaller budgets and shorter timelines will receive priority.

The Greenwall Foundation will fund 10% indirect costs for salary and benefits only. Salaries for investigators are capped at 1.5x the current NIH cap for the basis of the percent effort allocation.  

What will not be funded under this program?

Projects with the following characteristics will not be funded under this program: 

  • Projects for which bioethics is not the main focus;
  • Projects that simply describe or analyze bioethics issues or provide a conceptual framework, without making practical recommendations for resolving the issues;
  • Projects that implement or make incremental improvements in established approaches to bioethics problems, build institutional infrastructure, or provide bioethics education, training, or coursework;
  • Projects that have predetermined conclusions or advocate for predetermined positions;
  • Projects whose main goal is to convene or enhance a meeting, unless there is a well-developed plan to produce a major peer-reviewed publication with consensus recommendations, guidelines, or best practices that have a strong likelihood of real-world implementation. The applicant must have a strong record in convening similar successful impactful meetings;
  • Projects to support or extend ongoing or core activities of an organization; and
  • Projects with a principal investigator who does not have a PhD, JD, MD, or an equivalent doctoral-level degree.

The Greenwall Foundation only makes awards to affiliated individuals at institutions with tax-exempt status with the United States Internal Revenue Service. In addition, an individual cannot simultaneously receive Making a Difference and Faculty Scholars Program funding from The Greenwall Foundation. Moreover, an individual cannot simultaneously be the principal investigator on open applications under consideration by the Foundation in the two programs.

Review Process

All letters of intent submitted by the deadline are reviewed, and from those a subset will be invited to submit full applications. The review process includes careful review by peer reviewers who are experienced bioethics researchers. Reviewers typically provide specific feedback and suggestions for consideration for applicants invited to submit a full application. Through this feedback, the Foundation seeks to assist applicants in presenting the best possible proposals and aligning their research interests with the Foundation’s funding priorities.

Funding available for the MAD program varies from cycle to cycle, and the Foundation may invite a full application for a different level of funding than requested in the LOI. After review of full proposals, the Foundation may request additional clarifications, for example, about the adequacy of human subjects protections or the project’s budget. More detail about the review process can be found here.

In addition to grants awarded in response to this RFP, The Greenwall Foundation may directly initiate some grants.

Please e-mail inquiries about this program to Kyle Ruempler, [email protected]. Please also review the Frequently Asked Questions and video sharing tips and best practices for submitting an LOI.

Application Timeline


Letters of Intent due by June 17, 2024, 11:59 pm ET. The Foundation will notify those invited to submit full applications approximately one month before the full application deadline.


Invited Full Proposals due by September 3, 2024, 11:59 pm ET. The Foundation will notify applicants of funding decisions in late November.


Projects to commence on or after January 1, 2025 (not later than April 1, 2025)

Directions for Submitting a Letter of Intent

Go to Once there, please bookmark the site, create an account, and complete your application. To create an account, you must enter your institution’s EIN, which you may need to obtain from your Contracts and Grants Office; please do not input a placeholder or invalid EIN, which may delay consideration of your application. Please note: it is important that your application be submitted from the principal investigator’s online account, rather than that of a staff member at the PI’s institution or another member of the research team.

If you have any technical questions or concerns regarding the online application process, please contact [email protected]. If you continue to experience difficulty with the online application process, please contact Kyle Ruempler at [email protected]. We will not accept late applications that are the result of technical issues with the online application portal, so we recommend that you log in and enter your information in advance of the deadline.

In order to be fair to all applicants, the Foundation cannot give feedback on specific proposals or drafts before a letter of intent is submitted and reviewed.

Letters of intent require the following information be entered into our online form:

  • Project title
  • A one-sentence summary of the project, written for a lay audience
  • Priority topic, if any
  • The amount and duration of funding requested (salaries for investigators are capped at 1.5x the current NIH cap for the basis of the percent effort allocation; The Greenwall Foundation will fund 10% indirect costs for salary and benefits only)
  • Names and titles of the proposed research team, percent effort for all team members allocating 10% effort or more, and CVs for two key personnel (no more than 5 single-spaced pages each, in NIH biosketch format)
  • A narrative using the following headers:
    • Bioethics problem. Describe the bioethics problem to be addressed, its significance, and how the project will help resolve it, including the project’s potential impact on policy or practice.    
    • Aims/research questions. Specify the specific aims or research questions of the project.    
    • Methods. Describe the methods that will be used to achieve the aims or answer the research questions.    
    • Dissemination. Describe the nature of peer-reviewed publication(s) expected from the project and other plans to disseminate the project’s findings beyond academic publication, including to stakeholder audiences and key individuals who can change practice or policy.    
    • Innovation. Explain how the proposed project is innovative and builds upon current scholarship.    
    • Foundation’s vision and mission. Explain how the project will promote the Foundation’s vision of making bioethics integral to decisions in health care, policy, and research and its mission of expanding bioethics knowledge to improve clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy, and practice.
    • Research team. Provide a summary of the team’s experience and expertise, including the team’s expertise in relevant disciplines, and their familiarity and experience with the bioethics problems to be addressed.

This narrative should be no longer than three single-spaced pages plus references (which do not count against the three-page limit), with one-inch margins and in a font no smaller than 12 point. Please do not submit any additional documents.

Letters of intent for this cycle must be submitted online by June 17, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET. We strongly encourage applicants to submit letters of intent earlier, so that they have time to correct any technical errors that might arise during the application process.

Invited full applications will be due September 3, 2024, with project periods to start on or after January 1, 2025 (not later than April 1, 2025). Because of the relatively tight deadline for full proposals that include financial information approved by an appropriate institutional officer, there may be some allowance for budget deadlines. However, priority will be given to fully completed proposals. You can preview the grant application form here.

We will fund another cycle of grants in Spring 2025. The request for proposals and due date for that cycle will be announced in late Fall 2024.